I am incredibly fortunate to still have both of my parents within a days drive. With Mother’s Day just past I’ve watched many of my friends struggle with the grief of no longer having their Mom a phone call away. My folks aren’t as active as they once were. The three-hour drive means my Mom spends the next week “recovering”. Given my health ups and downs this last year, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we’d like.
When my Dad called and asked if Orion would be interested in participating in challenging a Guinness World Book record it seemed like a good opportunity to get in the car. My Dad and Orion have a history of doing interesting things together. Orion spent many summers attending Waldsee, a German language immersion village. Dad went along as his aide, his Opa. They still march together in the community parades when we visit in the summer. Being in the longest moving wheelchair line sounded like fun.
Orion and I went up on Friday. The “North woods” are pretty in the spring as the leaves come out on the birches. We had the afternoon to visit and dinner, but early to bed knowing Saturday was going to be a busy day. We sent Orion and Dad off to Grand Rapids, MN and Mom and I went to Brainerd. It’s a treat for me to spend the day alone with Mom, a treat for Orion to have a day with Opa, a treat for Mom to be able to run errands at her own pace, and Dad is always happy with an adventure.
We had a lovely, leisurely day. We did a little shopping. We went out for lunch. We picked up some ice cream to have with the rhubarb pie I made. We talked and reminisced and I got Mom looking for some old photos of her grandparents. She was still worn out by the end of the day, but in a good way.
Opa and Orion and some 349 other wheelchair users beat the record. Of course there’s a review process by the Guinness World Book people before it’s official, but Orion knows he’s a champion! I made Dad take photos of the event and I posted Orion’s number (101) on his wall.
A weekend isn’t a long enough visit, but it’s enough to touch base. I’m also grateful again that my parents are still here, and close enough to do just a weekend. We may meet for lunch again before Orion and I get back up to the “North woods”. That’s how we’ve managed these last 6 months when “I need to SEE how you are doing.” has been the theme.
Knowing how fragile these opportunities can be I am more motivated, more committed, to make sure they happen. If you still have your Mom or Dad, be sure to call them just to check-in and say “I love you.”